Browne gets emotional victory in Caloundra Cup
HORSE RACING: After enduring a tough week off the track, Sunshine Coast jockey Damian Browne was able to surge to an emotional victory during the Caloundra Cup.
Aboard the Nigel Tiley-trained Megablast, Browne put in a dominant ride to cross first by three-lengths ahead of First Crush at Corbould Park on Saturday.
Megablast sat in second for much of the race, but surged on the final bend to leave fellow gallopers well behind.
Ipswich Cup winner, and favourite, Tradesman finished third.
While winning the $175,000 Caloundra Cup for his third time was a joyous occasion in its own right, it was also a form of redemption for Browne.
He was slapped with a two-month ban earlier in the week for his ride on Fighting Teo at the Sunshine Coast on June 1.
Browne said he is appealing the decision and is able to compete under a stay of proceedings.
"It's been a pretty hectic week so it (winning Caloundra Cup) was obviously a good way to finish off the week,” Browne said.
"It was really good to win the major race of our calendar for the Sunshine Coast.
"He (Megablast) was pretty happy throughout and got in a good spot and travelled well and sort of put them away on straightening so it was good enjoyable race.”
A clearly emotional Browne was embraced by his wife Kim following the Caloundra Cup victory.
He said he would fight the handling charge and continue to ply his trade.
"I've appealed the decision so it's got to go through the authorities now and I'll be able to ride on a stafe (stay of proceedings) until that's heard so I'll be continuing riding until such time,” he said.
"There's a lot of avenues to go down so it'll take a little while to get to and it'll probably be a couple of months time (before it's settled).”
Megablast's success was New Zealand trainer Nigel Tiley's first stakes victory on Australian soil.
He said he would now aim to race the six-year-old at the 3200m Queens Cup at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club on July 14.